Navision name to go, but products will stay

The Navision A/S brand will soon be dead.

Microsoft Corp.'s second acquisition of a midmarket enterprise applications company in 14 months will enable it to extend its customer footprint as it pieces together a full suite of enterprise resource planning and customer relationship management applications.

Microsoft acquired Great Plains Software Inc., another enterprise application company that targeted midtier companies, in April 2001. But Joy Paul Tharakan, managing director of Navision Southeast Asia, said that despite some obvious overlaps in the software lines of Great Plains and Navision, there are no plans to kill any products at this time.

This is because the two application vendors have very different revenue bases geographically: 85% of Great Plains' sales are in North America, while 79% of Navision's business is in Europe, said Tharakan.

According to a Microsoft statement, Navision will complement the Great Plains Business Solutions unit and enhance Microsoft's .Net business applications strategy for small and midmarket businesses.

Yong Yun Seong, director, central marketing organization, at Microsoft Singapore, said the combined entity of Great Plains, Navision and Microsoft will deliver a complementary array of business management software and services.

"Microsoft is now able to enhance its abilities to grow the business applications market segment and create faster geographic and product line expansion, increased multinational opportunities and greater research and development resources for partners," Yong added.

Navision's two main product lines are Navision Axapta and Attain. The company has about 130,000 users of its applications, which are sold via a network of about 2,400 partners.

The $1.3 billion acquisition of Navision is expected to be completed in two months, pending shareholder approval. Once the deal is finalized, the company will become part of Microsoft Business Solutions, where it will focus on the needs of midmarket businesses.

Navision's corporate headquarters in Denmark is expected to become the center of development and operations for Microsoft Business Solutions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. It will serve as Microsoft's largest product development center outside the U.S. That facility will continue to develop, support and market Navision's existing products in current markets, in addition to working on new products.

Copyright © 2002 IDG Communications, Inc.

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